Here are 4 Valentine's Day travel experiences you need to know of

Pop the question for a they-lived-happily-ever-after ending to your love story at any of these four stunning locales

By Gustasp and Jeroo Irani

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Photo: Gustasp and Jeroo Irani
Photo: Gustasp and Jeroo Irani

Published: Thu 9 Feb 2023, 8:08 PM

Luxury and romance in the wild

A deluxe outpost flaunting local style melded with contemporary décor, a spa, secluded dining and romantic tables-for-two in the wilderness? The swish Bori Safari Lodge which unravels on the edge of the Bori Wildlife Sanctuary, located in the heart of India, may be just the place to decompress together. During an enriching early morning game drive, revel in the sight of tiger, sloth bear, leopard, wild dog, even giant squirrels and exotic birds that may appear like props on nature’s stage.

On your return to your luxury suite, enjoy the privacy of your outdoor shower, then relax on your private sit-out, facing the grasslands, and sip your morning cuppa. Those are special moments of togetherness, watching birds swoop and flit, an arm’s reach away. Or retreat to the luxe comfort of your elegant glass-fronted suite (there are 12 in all) on stilts, studded with paintings of wildlife found in Bori and ample use of natural materials like blond wood, bamboo and coir.

Located on a 7.5 acre estate, the lodge is a sister property of Reni Pani Jungle Lodge in Satpura National Park, Jehan Numa Palace in Bhopal and Jehan Numa Retreat, owned and run by the former royal family of Bhopal. A multi-cuisine restaurant in the central courtyard of the lodge even serves food based on royal recipes of the family. You can opt to have lunch in the bright airy interior, or have it à deux in the outdoor section, encased in greenery and wafted by soft breezes.

The lodge has alluring dining spaces including a sunken deck near the swimming pool for a candle-lit dinner a deux. Or you could rekindle the flames during a sundowner by a river, watching the sun set in the blue waters and brush the jagged hills in shades of gold.


Grape dreams

The steeped in romance resort-cum-wine spa, Les Sources de Caudalie, a 20-minute drive from the lovely French town of Bordeaux is a great destination for lovers to reconnect.

You could walk or cycle amidst the vineyards, and feel the embrace of time-stopped solitude. The Instagram-able sun-warmed chateau and half-timbered buildings backdropped by the Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte vineyards is a gorgeous starting point for an arm-in-arm exploration of the estate.

The interiors are contemporary in style but replete with period furniture, fine fabrics and muted lighting. Sip the estate wines in its two convivial bars, kick back and gaze at the wondrous views from picturesque nooks in the estate, and nosh on haute cuisine at the resort’s two-Michelin-stars restaurant, La Grand’ Vigne, or its country-style gourmet outpost, La Table du Lavoir.

The highlight, of course, is the swish wine spa reportedly the first of its kind in the world which birthed Caudalie’s wine-based products and therapies. Indulge in the half-day Vines for Lovers Ritual which includes a 50-minute facial, a Fleur de Vigne candle massage (for two) and a Barrel Bath filled with fresh spring water.

The therapies are not the outpourings of someone’s wine-drenched dreams but are in fact based on recent studies that suggest that wine not only tastes good but is therapeutic as well.


Love on the move

A journey on the Glacier Express on Valentine’s Day may well be your ideal getaway. Stoke your love on the eight-hour ride across the Alps in ‘the slowest express train in the world.’ Whether you travel from Zermatt to St Moritz or vice versa, the changing landscape will wow your senses. The crimson and white adventure train with its roof-high panoramic windows showcasing a bevy of sights will take your breath away.

Snuggle into your ample window seats and bond with your partner, as you gaze at soaring mountain ranges, little towns strung out on the banks of limpid blue lakes, glacier-fed rivers, cows grazing on meadows dusted with wild flowers in bloom, village churches that soar like a prayer over wood chalets.

If you feel peckish, savour the toothsome specialties served at your seat (à la carte or a set menu freshly prepared on board). A five-course meal is served in Excellence Class and a three-course meal in first and second class.

Indeed, you can up the ante in Excellence Class; unwinding together in the comfortable lounge, or taking in the arresting views. And if that isn’t enough, a concierge will be around to take care of all your whims and fancies.


Island of love

Enjoying with your significant other in a tree house on a remote island in Fiji can impart a Tarzan-and-Jane feel to your Valentine’s Day celebrations. With an outdoor lava rock shower, and a sit-out that lassoes enchanting views, you could not ask for more.

Matangi Private Island Resort located on one of the northerly islands in Fiji offers you the gift of beauty and solitude. The Adults Only resort is fringed by tropical rain forests and white sand beaches and has ocean-front and beach-front bures (the Fijian word for a traditional Fijian cottage) as well as the jungle-feel tree houses. They all come with the 21st century doodads. Everywhere on this 240-acre island, the aquamarine ocean is close enough for a dip and a dive, and opportunities abound to go snorkeling, fishing or watch flaming sunsets.

Embrace the night while savouring a candlelit dinner on a private pavilion on an overwater deck. Before departure the next morning, indulge in some spa therapy in the magical spa which overlooks a tranquil ocean. Or reaffirm your vows in a barefoot- on- the-beach ceremony at Horseshoe Bay, a secluded couples only hideaway!


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